Tuesday, September 19, 2017

A24 A-to-Z: #12. "The Captive" (2014)

Ryan Reynolds in The Captive
In case you didn't know, A24 is one of the great purveyors of modern cinema. Since 2013, the studio has found a way to innovate independent cinema by turning each release into an event. As a result, A24 A-to-Z will be an ongoing series that looks at every release from the studio by analyzing its production history, release, criticisms, and any awards attention that it might've received. Join me on a quest to explore the modern heroes of cinema by exploring every hit and miss that comes with that magnificent logo. They may not all be great, but they more than make A24 what it is and what it will hopefully continue to be for ears to come.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Composing Greatness: #19. John Williams - "Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom" (1984)

Scene from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom
Welcome to Composing Greatness: a column dedicated to exploring the work of film composers. This will specifically focus on the films that earned them Oscar nominations while exploring what makes it so special. This will be broken down into a look at the overall style, interesting moments within the composition, and what made the score worth nominating in the first place. This will also include various subcategories where I will rank the themes of each film along with any time that the composer actually wins. This is a column meant to explore a side of film that doesn't get enough credit while hopefully introducing audiences to an enriched view of more prolific composers' work. This will only cover scores/songs that are compiled in an easily accessible format (so no extended scores will be considered). Join me every Sunday as I cover these talents that if you don't know by name, you recognize by sound.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Review: "mother!" Doesn't Like You, and You Won't Like Her Either (SPOILERS!)

Jennifer Lawrence
In press interviews, director Darren Aronofsky said of his latest movie mother! that it would be shocking that people wouldn't want to look at him again. It's a brilliant marketing move, and one that done correctly works as well as a viral video from OK Go. Who wouldn't want to see something different in cinema, especially if it comes from the provocateur who previously made drug trips exciting and horrifying, and turned a ballet movie into one of the greatest psychosexual thrillers of the decade? The unfortunate news is that this plan may have backfired, as the film will make people not want to look at Aronofsky ever again. It's a mean, masochistic movie whose themes are buried underneath lazy surrealism and one-note characters who don't have much to do. Mother! is a mess, and a profoundly gross one at that. 

Thursday, September 14, 2017

The Oscar Buzz Celebrates Its Fifth Anniversary!

Well, the moment is here again. The Oscar Buzz is celebrating its fifth anniversary with the familiar rapturous applause. But how do I choose to remember this occasion? I looked at the previous years and found that sticking to Oscar-related number themes was a good idea. So, I began thinking: What goes with five? At worst, this could be an essay on FIVE Easy Pieces, at best I could rank "The Big Five" winners, which sounded a bit dull to me. While I was looking, I saw another trend: personal stories that connect me to these movies. It's why I decided to go with something less obvious. I would try and pick the year with five Best Picture films that I felt represented me the best. It doesn't necessarily have the best, but I felt this could be a launch pad for a personal remembrance of how cinema has impacted my life. So, why does the Class of 2002 stand out above the rest? I'll tell you why after the jump.